The California Variegated Mutant aka CVM is a color pattern variant of the Romeldale breed. Romeldales were developed in the United States by crossing Romney rams with Rambouillet ewes. The color pattern that distinguishes the CVM from the Romeldale is the badger-faced pattern: stripes from the muzzle to the eyes and/or dark legs and underbelly. Is the CVM a distinct breed from the Romeldale? Apparently this is up to debate. Whatever the case, the wool from all of these sheep share the same characteristics (crimp, lock structure, softness, etc.)
Did you know that the CVM/Romeldale is an endangered breed? This is distressing because the wool has such great qualities. Fantastic crimp, nice lock structure, good staple length, nice softness, and I could go on and on.
Let’s get to the wool. Compared to the pristine Corriedale locks in the last spinning project, these CVM locks are a hot mess. The fleece has got a bit of yellowing in places and weathered tips all over the place. Some flaws, but a sound fleece. Here are some of the worst of the worst.
But when these locks are combed and readied for spinning?
The tips come off and the resulting fiber is spongy, soft, and creamy.
It’s spinning up beautifully. There is a bounce to the fiber that I suspect is from the Rambouillet influence.